Outlines how to win Connect 4, with simple methods, moves, and tips for beginner and advanced players to win at the popular strategy game.
Connect 4 (also known as Four Up, Plot Four, Find Four, Four in a Row, Four in a Line, Drop Four, and Gravitrips ) is a two-player strategy game that can be played on a computer or with a board and discs. This board consists of horizontal and vertical columns that contain holes. Each player takes turns playing and putting the discs into the holes.
The object of the game is to get four discs to form a line either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. While this may seem simple, it requires a strategy to achieve it, as well as learning various techniques that will help you win the game more often.
- How to win Connect 4 Part 1: Learn the basic strategies
- 1. Control the center
- 2. Plan ahead
- 3. Block your opponent.
- 4. Take advantage of your opponent’s mistakes.
- 5. Play actively.
- 6. Do not fill a hole that lets your opponent win.
- Part 2: Advanced tactics
How to win Connect 4 Part 1: Learn the basic strategies
1. Control the center
A basic strategy for this game is to have discs in the center of the board as this gives you more opportunities to make connections. With an odd number of columns, with discs in the middle, you can make connections in any direction. If you are the first player, place the first disc in the middle column. Then put as many discs as you can in the central column.
2. Plan ahead
As in chess, the moves in Connect 4 game will force you or your opponent to make some reaction in order to avoid the opposite victory. You can take advantage of this type of situation, so it is important to think about how your opponent will react after you make a move. For example, if you want to make sure that you can put a disc in a specific hole, you need to put one in another hole in the board that could win for you too.
Your opponent will be forced to prevent you from winning with this move and give you the freedom to fill the hole that you first thought should be filled. Also, before you make a move, compare how this could benefit your opponent. You don’t want to make a move that will help him win, so you need to think about how he will react to the move you are going to make.
3. Block your opponent.
A basic strategy of any game is that if you do not want to lose you must prevent your opponent from winning. In Connect 4 you have to defend yourself against the tactics of your opponent and insert the discs into the holes that allow you to connect four discs.
If possible, prevent your opponent from connecting three discs, as this would mean they only need to place one more to win. In fact, avoiding the connections of three discs also prevents your opponent from catching you. You can win the game by placing discs in different directions, but a single move could block all of your options.
4. Take advantage of your opponent’s mistakes.
In Connect 4, the mistake would be not blocking the opponent’s movements, which would mean he would win. To avoid this, you need to watch the board and the movements performed so that you can take advantage of the opposite errors. For example, if you have three discs aligned horizontally and your opponent has not placed a disc to block you, your next move will be to use the empty space and place a disc to form the four-disc link that will win.
5. Play actively.
While playing defensively and blocking your opponent is important in order to win in Connect 4, you need to make connections between your own discs. You can do this using the following strategies:
- Form external lines horizontally.
- Stacks discs on top of each other to form vertical connections.
- Use your discs and your opponent’s discs to make connections diagonally with the rows and columns.
- If possible, place your disks in the openings to allow multiple connections. For example, if you have panels separated by a row or column, look for an intermediate hole that will allow you to connect the panels diagonally, horizontally or vertically.
6. Do not fill a hole that lets your opponent win.
In Connect 4, an empty space equivalent to connecting three hard drives is a threat. Sometimes this is overlooked as one can focus on the available holes. You shouldn’t fill these holes as this could cause your opponent to connect.
Similarly, if you need to fill a hole that is on the bottom to build your win, don’t fill it with your own disc or your opponent could block you and prevent you from winning.
Part 2: Advanced tactics
There are roughly four trillion ways to play Connect 4, making it impossible to save moves in certain scenarios. However, as you practice, you will improve your strategy skills and your ability to respond to certain movements. There are many online and computer games that you can play. You can also analyze specific boards to practice your strategies.
2. Make a multidirectional attack.
When you have a three-disc connection that can expand in different directions to form a four-disc connection, you have a better chance of winning. When this happens, your opponent can only block one direction and leave the others free to make your final move. This method requires strategy and in some cases also depends on whether your opponent is making a mistake or not realizing that you are setting a trap.
3. Apply “the trap of 7”.
This is the name of a strategic move that consists of positioning your discs so that they form a 7, with three horizontal discs connected to two diagonal discs that come from the horizontal disc closest to the right. In fact, the 7 can be shaped in any way: place the disks to the right, back, and even top to bottom. This disc formation is a good strategy as it gives you the ability to have different addresses to form the four disk connection.
4. Build a sevenfold attack.
This attack is similar to the multidirectional attack, but on a larger scale. As the name suggests, this strategy gives you seven ways to win. To run it you need to create a certain number with your discs and you need to control:
- the lower central disc the holes next to each other at the end of the second row
- the three central holes at the end of the third row (horizontal)
- the fifth and fourth holes from top to bottom in the middle column.